If we had a dime for every new shop that claimed to be home to “the best sandwiches in Shanghai” we’d still have nowhere near enough money to afford lunch at City Deli, the latest eatery claiming to have “the best sandwiches in Shanghai.” And you know what? Their Reuben (pictured) is pretty damn good. Real rye bread. Real Thousand Island dressing. Real sauerkraut. And real swiss cheese (although maybe not enough). The bread slices weren’t huge, but the (real) pastrami was piled high in between. It was a real Reuben. And really tasty.
It probably would have tasted even better had it not taken well over an hour to get to our office. And that is what concerns us about City Deli — their delivery service (very important for a delivery-only establishment). To their credit, the foreign guy (we are guessing American … we apologize if you are Canadian) who took our order told us they were running late, and we did call at the lunchtime rush, around 12:30 pm. And then 45 minutes or so later, they called again and said the food was ready — they were just waiting on the “kuaidi guy.” This concerned us slightly since the menu described our pastrami as being “hot and tender” and we also ordered a minestrone soup that one would assume was also meant to be served hot. We figured waiting for a kuadi guy wasn’t going to help the hotness much.
The other thing that had us slightly concerned was the phrase “kuaidi guy.” We figured that is just what they call their delivery staff, but when our food did arrive, sure enough, it was in the hands of a real kuadi — the same guy who you’d hire to take a package across town. This particular kuadi was employed by a company called TIZ Express. So, City Deli appears to be outsourcing its delivery services, which is well and good, but anyone who has dealt with kuadi services in Shanghai knows they can be very unreliable. Maybe City Deli has it figured out. Maybe they have some kind of exclusive arrangement. Whatever, it didn’t seem to work so well today. But we did get two free Cokes for our trouble.
We really hope City Deli’s delivery strategy does work for them — it was a good sandwich — and next time we’d like to be able to eat it sooner. We would have to assume City Deli is only going to get busier (they must be pretty new) so ironing out the delivery service wrinkles is very important. Probably wise of them to launch during the Western holiday season.
Some people might be turned off by City Deli’s prices — our Reuben was listed at RMB 55, but for some reason we were only charged 50. Other sandwiches, like Roast Beef and Turkey Avocado, will set you back RMB 65. You can view City Deli’s menu here.
Have you tried City Deli? Let us know what you thought in a comment.
City Deli, delvery only. Tel: 62561973. Email: [email protected]
Also on Shanghaiist:
New York City Deli and Mealbay